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Looking for good St Honore cake

Does anyone know of a bakery that makes a good one? I'm in the San Mateo area, but will gladly drive up to 25 miles for one. I like the kind with cake, cream puffs, a bavarian cream type filling and lots of whipped cream. Yum! Sometimes I've seen them with only cream puffs. By the way, how is St Honore pronounced? Thanks.

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  1. Dianda.

    Dianda's Italian American Co
    De Anza Blvd, San Mateo, CA, USA

    1. Victoria Pastry makes a fine St. Honore.

      As far as pronunciation goes, St. Honore rhymes with 'Quaint Yawner-hay'.

      Victoria Pastry Co
      1362 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      10 Replies
      1. re: grishnackh

        I've had the Dianda and Victoria Pastry St. Honore, and IMHO Victoria is the winner. Dianda's version is way sweeter; too sweet for me.

        1. re: grishnackh

          Here's my photo of a slice of Victoria's St. Honore from a sheet for 50 servings.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Melanie, is this cake the same as the Sacrapatina cake that you had for Uncle's birthday???

            1. re: anna r

              No, the Sacrapantina cake comes from Stella and is decorated with amaretti.

                1. re: Cat Chow

                  Oh yeah! Much as I like the St. Honore, Stella's Sacripantina is in another class all together.

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              Victoria calls that a St. Honore? Where are the cream puffs? Oh, I see, one little puff.

              Here's what Dianda's looks like, this is my more my idea of a proper St. Honore:


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                We only get St. Honore's from Dianda's. I'm not going to say they are the absolute best, but they are pretty good. However the best I've had locally (relatively speaking) is one I special ordered for my wedding from Paris Bakery in Monterey, California (they also did a Piece-Monte for me...that's the clear caramel choux tower you have at weddings). Both Fabulous. It would be worth the drive.

                271 Bonifacio Pl
                Monterey, CA 93940
                (831) 646-1620

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I think something between the two is about right, at least in my experience with the classic round shape from Schubert's and from Victoria Pastry. When I made it for a friend recently, his mom's "classic French pastry" cookbook from 1940 or something had a little picture that looked just like Victoria's and Schubert's.

                  It should be a round base of typical tart/pie pastry, with a ring of choux (cream puff) dough that is baked. Then individual cream puffs are placed in a circle on the ring of puff pastry, and the interior filled with creme chantilly lightened with whipped egg whites.

                  In terms of presentation, I think a single ring of cream puffs looks best, which also seems to be the classic form. Naturally, to get 10-20 attactive cream puffs, the home cook must make twice that many. Eating them is the only rewarding part of making this cake on a one off basis. It's ridiculously labor intensive and inefficient.

              2. re: grishnackh

                I agree with the Victoria Pastry recommendation. My wife and I had a St. Honore cake driven down to LA for our wedding and it was a huge hit. One of our guests had four slices at the reception.

              3. Bay Bread Boulangerie makes a very good version.

                1. Victoria's is the best place to get a St. Honore cake. My family gets one for all of our special occasions. We have been going there for over 25 years now so thats a lot of cake. Here is a pic of the last one we got, just last weekend.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gtiariana

                    What a great memory that gives me! 20 years ago when my husband and I were about to marry, my office gave me a little celebration with a Victoria's SH cake and Champagne. It was great. We walk past it regularly when we're in SF and I always smile.

                    1. re: htn

                      I fell into this old thread, was going to suggest Schubert's. It's now 2013, and I can say that the St. Honore there is still very good. So good, in fact, that I am tempted to drive over there right now and get one.

                    2. La Patisserie in Cupertino. Everything they do is top quality. I'm sure the St. Honore is traditional and delicious. I have never been disappointed. And I own three pastry shops in Boston. Good luck.


                      La Patisserie
                      19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA

                      1. I'm not a fan of the Victoria Pastry version, but love the version at Patisserie Delanghe. Patisserie Delanghe's cream puffs are caramelized, and there is plenty of cream and a layer of cake. The cream puffs are so good they would put Beard Papa to shame.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: felice

                          Yeah, the cream puffs are a major weakness of Victoria pastry's version. There's no caramelized sugar on the cream puffs and the dough is pretty flavorless.

                        2. So, I did a "St Honore Cake-Off", and I was determined to try out all the pastry stores mentioned in this thread. I started out with La Patisserie in Cupertino (I am in the Peninsula and it was easier), but I stopped at my second store because I found the REAL St. Honore and I have been craving it since. A small premise- both my husband and I and the friends we tried it with are from Italy, so we have a very distinctive idea of what we grew up eating in Italy. I am aware that the original is French, but I am unable to find good resources in French to determine how this cake is supposed to be originally made- the Italian version is sponge cake and millefeuille (puff pastry) filled with pastry cream and garnished with bi-colored whipped cream on top and caramelized cream puffs.
                          So, La Patisserie: I called ahead to ask how they made their St Honore, and they told me it was a ring of puff pastry filled with bavarian cream and whipped cream, topped with cream puffs. This cake was almost inedible, and it made me wonder about the quality of their products as a whole. The whipped cream felt like it was mounted with butter, it was stiff and it tasted awful. The cake was not mounted on a puff pastry ring, but on a choux paste ring, which despite my custom order for the cake tasted stale. I picked up the cake at 11am, so I was expecting this to be at least freshly made. I was wrong. The overall experience was so bad we abandoned the cake after a small slice and someone brought it to their office to finish it, it was so bad.
                          My second try was Emporio Rulli. Now, I consider Rulli the best Italian pastry shop by a HUGE margin, so I was hoping not to get disappointed. They were kind enough to deliver my order at SFO so I didn't have to drive to San Francisco to get it. Now, Rulli had exactly the cake I have had as a birthday cake every year since I was 3! They told me the cake was puff pastry and sponge cake, and it was. It was filled with pastry cream and topped with whipped cream, and all ingredients were extraordinarily exquisite. The cake was perfect- exactly the kind of cake you can buy in Italy. All of my party has been extremely pleased by the taste, freshness and quality of the cake. In the end I decided to stop my quest and just get my cakes from Rulli! I should also mention the Rulli cake was cheaper than the one at Patisserie for the same size cake. Not by much, but a bit cheaper.

                          Emporio Rulli
                          464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

                          La Patisserie
                          19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA

                          1. Le Gateau Elegant "The Elegant Cake"
                            Walnut Creek
                            1479 Newell Ave., WC 925-937-2253

                            Their cake is delicious and described as follows:

                            "St. Honore - Crisp puff pastry and chocolate buttercream with rum custard and vanilla genoise soaked with rum. Iced with fresh whipped cream and garnished with rum custard filled cream puffs and maraschino cherries."

                            1 Reply
                            1. Our best St Honore, Swiss pastry kitchen, The Fairmount, Philadelphia was made with, well-docked mille feuille although lining pastry or pate brisée can be used..

                              The cream puffs were filled with liquer flavored choc or plain pastry cream. Not traditional but
                              amaretto is a great flavoring for the cream in the puffs.

                              The body of the dessert was Creme Chibouste: pastry cream with Italian meringue folded in, so lighter than the cream in cream puffs. rather than gelatin (Creme Bavarois sp?)Is rarely seen this way. and Creme Chantiiy
                              (whipped cream)But many variations and liberties. The crust is sometmes covered with a thin sheet of Biscuit or Genoise.

                              pronounciation in French is close to [saenh HAHNohRAY}. Uvularized French "r",
                              in Eng [Saint HahnohRAY]

                              Have never tried Rulli's but so far disappointed with local presentatyion of this culianry masterpiece. of 3 creams and 2 or 3 types of pastry. I thnk we topped the cram pouffs with hard caramel -to long ago to remember it all.

                              1. We used to get them at Galli's Sanitary Bakery on Grand Avenue in South SF.

                                1. Gerry's Cakes in Menlo Park makes them.

                                  1141 Chestnut St
                                  Menlo Park 94025
                                  650 326-6282

                                  There's a picture of one on their website: www.gerryscakes.com. They make rectangular versions in full and half sheet sizes as well. I have no basis for comparison but can say when we've had them at parties people have always been complementary. Don't know if they're still good as we haven't gotten one in about five years.

                                  The website also has a description of the cake.